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New York Times Launches Facebook Timeline
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New York Times Launches Facebook Timeline

Did you know the New York Times published its first crossword puzzle on Feb. 15, 1947? Neither did I.

Always the trendsetter, the newspaper recently launched New York Times Timeline on Facebook. The paper's timeline goes all the way back to 1851 when the paper was founded. In 1896 The New-York Times became the The New York Times, dropping the hyphen. 1959 displays a picture of Marilyn Munroe inspecting clippings of the newspaper. The first signed opinion column occurred in 1933. 'All the News That’s Fit to Print' was coined in 1897. April 15, 1912 the front page displays the sinking of the Titanic.

It's a fascinating timeline with pictures and historic events from the past century and more. One can take a trip through the arts, technology, industrial and political history of American culture as seen through the eyes of the New York Times simply with a scroll of the page.

Recent years are tailored to showcase posts made by friends who are on your facebook account. I can see that Friend So And So posted and commented on a "terrific biography" in 2010 or Friend B shared "The 22 Best Data Infographics of 2011" via the Times. I don't remember any of these posts in my news feeds. Yet there they are now, right on the timeline of the New York Times, showing me a history of my friend's affiliation with the Times. I suppose the Times believes one wants a personal experience when reviewing their timeline. Although I don't know if I need yet another insight into the likes, interests and views of my facebook friends, I enjoy seeing what news story prompted a friend to react, side by side with other friends and their reactions. It is like walking into a library and seeing all your friends there.

When timeline was first introduced I recoiled at its intention and cluttered look. Facebook's arbitrary decision to track one's historical facebook activity seemed invasive and unnecessary. I, for one, practically never go to a specific person's page and see what they were up to five years ago. I am already inundated with too much personal information about other people as it is.

This is a game changer though. I am fascinated by this use of Timeline. It is informative and addictive. The photography through the ages tells a story all its own. One can see the virtual transformation of the printing industry and how type was set long before desktop computers.

New York Time's creative use of timeline reveals just how far ahead Mark Zuckerberg and his gang were when they introduced this feature. No doubt this trend will soon become the norm.

Street Talk


Good article, makes a nice sales pitch and background reason for the change. I've never really be "one" with Facebook-not a daily user so to speak, I have to admit that the Timeline format is the easiest for me to understand and use of all the versions over the years.

  about 1 decade ago

Cool man! Thanks for this interesting article. First nice thing I have heard about FB's Timeline.

  about 1 decade ago
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